Needs of Children Being Discussed At Conference

Story Highlights

  • The 10th staging of the annual Caribbean Child Research Conference kicked off on Wednesday (November 4), at the Jamaica Conference Centre, with a focus on the evolving needs of children and their right to equality and equity.
  • Under the theme: ‘Beyond 2015: Equality and Equity for all Children’, the three-day Conference is being attended by researchers, policymakers and representatives from various Government and non-government agencies and organisations.
  • Discussions and presentations at the event will focus on Human Trafficking, Early Childhood Development in Jamaica, opportunities and experiences of Jamaican students with disabilities, the dynamics of child poverty in Jamaica and reducing child mortality among independent Commonwealth Caribbean countries.

The 10th staging of the annual Caribbean Child Research Conference kicked off on Wednesday (November 4), at the Jamaica Conference Centre, with a focus on the evolving needs of children and their right to equality and equity.

Under the theme: ‘Beyond 2015: Equality and Equity for all Children’, the three-day Conference, hosted by the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) of the University of West Indies (UWI), Mona, is being attended by researchers, policymakers and representatives from various Government and non-government agencies and organisations.

Discussions and presentations at the event will focus on Human Trafficking, Early Childhood Development in Jamaica, opportunities and experiences of Jamaican students with disabilities, the dynamics of child poverty in Jamaica and reducing child mortality among independent Commonwealth Caribbean countries.

Deputy Principal of UWI, Professor Ishenkumba Kahwa, said the conference allows for in-depth multilevel and multinational discussion regarding new ways of ensuring that children are exposed to the best developmental opportunities offered by global society.

“(The conference) provides a necessary voice for a segment of society that is often ignored and voiceless by shining a light on the various issues affecting (children’s) growth and development throughout the region,” he said, at the opening ceremony.

He explained that the main objective of the conference is to educate society that each child is entitled to equal rights, based on international human rights laws.

Meanwhile, Senior Director for Children’s Affairs in the Ministry of Youth and Culture, Grace Ann Stewart McFarlane, said the conference’s theme aptly serves as a reminder that it is critical to continually make adequate provisions for children by taking into account their varying needs and abilities.

She said the summit has, over the years, played an important role as a catalyst for change, as it seeks to provoke creative thinking among children and youth.

“The conscious and deliberate effort to get children’s participation is to be commended as we move away from the old adage that children should be seen and not heard,” Mrs. Stewart McFarlane said.

The keynote address was made by Chief Executive Officer and Commissioner of the Jamaica Tertiary Executive Commission (J-TEC), Maxine Henry-Wilson, who called on families and communities to play a more involved role in the learning and development of children.

The Child Development Agency (CDA) and the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) also collaborated with SALISES to host the conference.

 

JIS Social